Pontal do Paraná, Brazil
Pontal do Paraná, Brazil

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-03 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2012

There is a need to improve sustainability in farming systems particularly through soil care and improvement, but not at the expense of productivity. One approach is to focus on a comprehensive advance in conservation tillage. This will be developed from improved ways of integrating subsidiary crops (SC) as living or dead mulches or cover crops with the main crops in rotations so as to simultaneously improve crop nutrition, health, and productivity. The SC will deliver multiple ecological services by increasing the duration of soil cover in the rotation overall while increasing species diversity, minimising the use of tillage and agrochemicals, enhancing biological N fixation and soil C content, and both reducing water demand in dry climates and improving soil workability in wetter climates. The research will draw on a wide range of previous and ongoing EU and related projects and will be based on 11 coordinated field experiments in different climatic regions together with three long-term experiments in Europe and Brazil. These experiments will all be assessed for economic and ecological impact including the often neglected issue of legume root health. Breeding companies and manufacturers of agricultural equipment from all regions of interest will be involved in finding adapted solutions for the different environments by extending the range of potentially useful plant species and by developing appropriate machinery to promote adoption in practical agriculture. The potential for useful chemical extraction from the existing and novel SCs will also be investigated. A central deliverable will be a database supported Cover Crop and Living Mulch Toolbox and Decision Support Tool which will encourage multilingual stakeholder exchange and dissemination during and beyond the lifetime of the project so as to capture farmer experience. The results of the project as a whole will be of use for and improve sustainability in low-input, organic, and conventional farming systems.

The least limiting water range (LLWR) is one of the best indicators of soil physical quality in intensive production systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the physical quality of a Typic Haplorthox by the LLWR after three crop growing seasons and the first year of crop-livestock integration in Xambrê, northwestern Paraná, Brazil. The experiment was established in a randomized block design with three replications. Treatments consisted of four brachiaria heights before grazing (0.10; 0.20; 0.30, and 0.40 m) and a control treatment without grazing. The brachiaria (Brachiaria ruziziensis) was sown in March 2010 and cattle grazed on it continuously for 110 days (March-September). In October 2010, 90 soil samples were collected with metal cylinders (height 0.05 m, diameter 0.05 m) from the center of the layers 0-0.10; 0.10-0.20; 0.20-0.30 m. These samples were used to obtain the water retention curve, the penetration resistance curve and the soil bulk density (Bd), from which the LLWR and the critical bulk density (Bdc) were calculated. The critical limits of -80 hPa for field capacity (qfc), -15,000 hPa for wilting point (qwp), 2.5 MPa for soil resistance to penetration (qsr) and 0.10 m3 m-3 for air filled porosity (qafp) were used. The LLWR was highest in 0-0.10 m and qsr was the most relevant variable to reduce LLWR in all layers, especially the layers 0.10-0.20 m and 0.20-0.30 m. The Bdc decreased with depth for values of 1.68, 1.65 and 1.64 Mg m-3, respectively, in the layers 0-0.10, 0.10-0.20 and 0.20-0.30 m. The management of this soil under integrated crop livestock at a grazing height of 0.10 m had the highest frequency of soil samples with Bd≥Bdc.

Pires L.F.,State University of Ponta Grossa | Rosa J.A.,Instituto Agronomico do Parana | Timm L.C.,Federal University of Pelotas
Acta Scientiarum - Agronomy | Year: 2011

Soil bulk density (ds) is traditionally used as an indicator of soil structure and soil compaction. The objective of this work was to compare ds values obtained through conventional methods like paraffin sealed clod (MTP) and volumetric ring (MAV), and nuclear methods like computerized tomography (MTC), gamma-ray attenuation (MAG) and neutron-gamma surface gauge (MSN). Soil samples were collected in areas under conventional tillage and no-tillage systems. Sixteen samples were collected in the soil surface layer for the analyses by the MAV, MTP, MTC, and MAG. For the MSN, sixteen readings were carried out throughout the experimental area. The highest ds values for the conventional tillage system were obtained for the MTP, MPC, and MAG, without significant differences. Also the statistic test indicates that the lowest ds values obtained for the MSN and MAV did not differ significantly. Regarding to the no-tillage system, only the MAV and MAG had been compared, whose ds values did differ significantly.

Cardoso J.D.,State University Londrina | Cardoso J.D.,Instituto Agronomico Do Parana | Hungria M.,Embrapa Soja | Andrade D.S.,Instituto Agronomico Do Parana
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2012

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a legume that has been reported as highly promiscuous in nodulating with a variety of rhizobial strains, often with low effectiveness in fixing nitrogen. The aim of this work was to assess the symbiotic efficiency of rhizobial strains isolated from common bean seeds, nodules of Arachis hypogaea, Mucuna pruriens, and soils from various Brazilian agroecosystems, followed by the characterization of elite strains identified in the first screening. Forty-five elite strains were analyzed for symbiotic properties (nodulation, plant-growth, and nitrogen-fixation parameters) under greenhouse conditions in pots containing non-sterile soil, and variation in symbiotic performance was observed. Elite strains were also characterized in relation to morpho-physiological properties, genetic profiles of rep-polymerase chain reaction (PCR; BOX), and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)-PCR of the 16S rRNA. Sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA were obtained for 17 strains representative of the main groups resulting from all previous analyses. One of the most effective strains, IPR-Pv 2604, was clustered with Rhizobium tropici, whereas strain IPR-Pv 583, showing lower effectiveness in fixing N 2, was clustered with Herbaspirillum lusitanum. Surprisingly, effective strains were clustered with unusual symbiotic genera/species, including Leifsonia xyli, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Burkholderia, and Enterobacter. Some strains recognized in this study were outstanding in their nitrogen-fixing capacity and therefore, show high biotechnological potential for use in commercial inoculants. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Flumignan D.L.,State University Londrina | de Faria R.T.,Instituto Agronomico do Parana | Prete C.E.C.,State University Londrina
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

Quantifying crop water consumption is essential for many applications in agriculture, such as crop zoning, yield forecast and irrigation management. The objective of this study was to determine evaporation (E), transpiration (T) and dual crop coefficients (Ke and Kcb) of coffee trees during crop production (3rd and 4th year of cultivation), conducted under sprinkler and drip irrigation and no irrigation, in Londrina, Paraná State, Brazil. Crop evapotranspiration (ET) was measured by weighing lysimeters cultivated with plants of cultivar IAPAR 59, E was measured by microlysimeters installed on the lysimeters and T was obtained by the difference between ET and E. The crop coefficient (Kc) was determined for the irrigated treatments as the ratio between ET and the reference evapotranspiration (ETo). Similarly, evaporation coefficient (Ke) and basal crop coefficient (Kcb) were determined as the ratio of E and T, respectively, to the value of ETo, which was estimated by the ASCE Penman-Monteith method on an hourly basis. The values of E and Ke varied due to atmospheric demand and water application method. Those factors, in addition to crop phenology and leaf area evolution, also influenced T and Kcb. Regardless irrigation treatment, the measured values of E represented 35% of ET, while T was 65% of ET. The recommended values of Ke were 0.46 and 0.26 for sprinkler and drip irrigation, respectively. The recommended values of Kcb were 0.52 and 0.82 for sprinkler-irrigated, and 0.5 and 0.65 for drip-irrigated treatments, varying as a function of daily ETo (ETo ≥ or <3mmday-1, respectively). © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Cacao S.M.,Instituto Agronomico do Parana
Genetics and molecular research : GMR | Year: 2012

Coffee quality is directly related to the harvest and post harvest conditions. Non-uniform maturation of coffee fruits, combined with inadequate harvest, negatively affects the final quality of the product. Pectin methylesterase (PME) plays an important role in fruit softening due to the hydrolysis of methylester groups in cell wall pectins. In order to characterize the changes occurring during coffee fruit maturation, the enzymatic activity of PME was measured during different stages of fruit ripening. PME activity progressively increased from the beginning of the ripening process to the cherry fruit stage. In silico analysis of expressed sequence tags of the Brazilian Coffee Genome Project database identified 5 isoforms of PME. We isolated and cloned a cDNA homolog of PME for further characterization. CaPME4 transcription was analyzed in pericarp, perisperm, and endosperm tissues during fruit development and ripening as well as in other plant tissues. Northern blot analysis revealed increased transcription of CaPME4 in the pericarp 300 days after flowering. Low levels of CaPME4 mRNAs were observed in the endosperm 270 days after flowering. Expression of CaPME4 transcripts was strong in the branches and lower in root and flower tissues. We showed that CaPME4 acts specifically during the later stages of fruit ripening and possibly contributes to the softening of coffee fruit, thus playing a significant role in pectin degradation in the fruit pericarp.

De Carvalho K.,Instituto Agronomico Do Parana | De Carvalho K.,State University Londrina | De Campos M.K.F.,Instituto Agronomico Do Parana | Domingues D.S.,Instituto Agronomico Do Parana | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2013

Plant exposure to abiotic stresses leads to an accumulation of reactive oxygen species with the concomitant increase in antioxidant defense mechanisms. Previous studies showed that exogenous application of proline mitigate the deleterious effects caused by oxidative stress due to its ability to increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes. However, there are no reports of the effects of high endogenous accumulation of proline in the transcriptional pattern of antioxidant enzymes genes under normal conditions of water supply or in response to water deficit. Here, we show that isoforms of four antioxidant enzymes genes (Ascorbate peroxidase - APX, Catalase - CAT, Superoxide dismutase - SOD and Glutathione reductase - GR) were differentially regulated in leaves of Swingle citrumelo transgenic plants with high endogenous proline accumulation submitted to water deficits and also under normal water supply condition. Proline per se caused a two-fold change in the transcription activity of APX1, APXcl, CAT2 and Cu/ZnSOD2, while during water deficit proline influenced mRNAs levels in APXs and Cu/ZnSODs isoforms, MnSODmit and GRcl. This study adds new information on the role of proline during drought conditions and, more important, without the potential confounding effects imposed by water deficiency. We showed that, in addition to its known effects on diverse plant physiological and biochemical processes, high endogenous proline can also acts as a regulatory/signalling molecule capable of altering the transcript levels of stress-related genes. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

de Carvalho K.,Instituto Agronomico do Parana
Molecular genetics and genomics : MGG | Year: 2014

Polyploid plants can exhibit transcriptional modulation in homeologous genes in response to abiotic stresses. Coffea arabica, an allotetraploid, accounts for 75% of the world's coffee production. Extreme temperatures, salinity and drought limit crop productivity, which includes coffee plants. Mannitol is known to be involved in abiotic stress tolerance in higher plants. This study aimed to investigate the transcriptional responses of genes involved in mannitol biosynthesis and catabolism in C. arabica leaves under water deficit, salt stress and high temperature. Mannitol concentration was significantly increased in leaves of plants under drought and salinity, but reduced by heat stress. Fructose content followed the level of mannitol only in heat-stressed plants, suggesting the partitioning of the former into other metabolites during drought and salt stress conditions. Transcripts of the key enzymes involved in mannitol biosynthesis, CaM6PR, CaPMI and CaMTD, were modulated in distinct ways depending on the abiotic stress. Our data suggest that changes in mannitol accumulation during drought and salt stress in leaves of C. arabica are due, at least in part, to the increased expression of the key genes involved in mannitol biosynthesis. In addition, the homeologs of the Coffea canephora subgenome did not present the same pattern of overall transcriptional response, indicating differential regulation of these genes by the same stimulus. In this way, this study adds new information on the differential expression of C. arabica homeologous genes under adverse environmental conditions showing that abiotic stresses can influence the homeologous gene regulation pattern, in this case, mainly on those involved in mannitol pathway.

Carvalho K.,Instituto Agronomico do Parana | de Campos M.K.F.,Instituto Agronomico do Parana | Pereira L.F.P.,Embrapa Cafe | Vieira L.G.E.,Instituto Agronomico do Parana
Analytical Biochemistry | Year: 2010

We describe the first systematic evaluation of reference genes for use in real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for water deficit stress studies in the citrus rootstock " Swingle" citrumelo. The expression levels of seven reference genes-cyclophilin (CYP), cathepsin (CtP), actin (ACT), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), elongation factor 1α (EF1α), β-tubulin (TUB), and ADP ribosylation factor (ADP)-during drought stress were tested using geNorm and NormFinder programs. Results from four experimental conditions indicated that EF1α and ADP were the most stable reference genes. Relative expression levels of Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (P5CS) was used for reference gene validation. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of grazing height of palisade grass (Urochloa brizantha) on total organic carbon and on the physical quality of a Haplorthox (Rhodic Ferralsol), after soybean cropping and grazing periods on palisade grass, in a integrated crop-livestock system (ICL). A randomized complete block design with four treatments (grazing heights at 0.10, 0.20, 0.30, and 0.40 m) and three replicates was used, in the fourth and fifth years after the implementation of the ICL. Soil samples, taken from the 0-0.10 and 0.10-0.20-m soil depths, had sandy texture: 126 and 132 g kg-1 clay, respectively. The following variables were evaluated: total organic carbon, soil bulk density (Db), least-limiting water range (LLWR), and critical soil bulk density (Dbc). The physical quality of soil in the ICL system depends on the grazing height management on palisade grass in the autumn-winter period. Grazing height at 0.27 m provided the greatest values of total organic carbon and wider LLWR at 0.10-0.20-m soil depths. Palisade grass cultivation decreases more the frequency of soil samples with Db>Dbc than soybean cropping, and grazing height of palisade grass contributes to the improvement of soil physical quality.

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